SKS Rennkompressor 50th Anniversary review£72.00

Design classic gets a numbered plaque and leather handle cover

BikeRadar score4/5

So much of the world we live in has changed since 1966. The England football team has never looked like repeating its only World Cup win, man has landed on the moon, found the Titanic, and cars can now drive themselves. Throughout five decades of human upheaval and progression, the SKS Rennkompressor track pump has been a constant presence.

Many a bike shop, shed or car park has been populated by the sound of the daddy of all track pumps, and for many years it was one of the only available options, partly because most couldn’t see how it could be bettered.

This anniversary special has been painted in the original SKS red used back in 1966, and looks otherwise like every version that’s gone before it.

The weighty cast iron base, and wide fold-up feet help stability, and save space when transporting it, although it weighs 2.27kg. Its slim 30mm diameter steel barrel looks very slender alongside most modern options, and at 55cm, it’s shorter than many. There’s a long 125cm tough rubber hose tipped with a Presta-only brass push-on head that’s held on by a Jubilee clip, and the solid turned wooden handle is fixed by a large nut. Most parts can be easily replaced, ensuring SKS track pumps soldier on for many years.

The pressure gauge measures up to 240psi/16bar, and is clear, if a little small, down at ground level. Inflating a 25mm tyre to an indicated 100psi takes 30 very positive strokes, each producing the Rennkompressor’s trademark sound, as the nut beneath the handle contacts the steel spring above the barrel.

To celebrate the Golden Anniversary, SKS created this limited edition version, each fitted with a numbered plaque and embossed leather handle cover with a steel wall-hanging eyelet, with the only irony being that it’s so bombproof it will probably still be going strong at the 75th anniversary.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Robin Wilmott

Tech Writer, Tech Hub, UK,
Robin began road cycling in 1988, and with mountain bikes in their infancy, mixed experimental off-road adventures with club time trials and road races. Cyclocross soon became a winter staple, and has remained his favourite form of competition. Robin has always loved the technical aspect of building and maintaining bikes, and several years working in a good bike shop only amplified that. Ten years as a Forensic Photographer followed, honing his eye for detail in pictures and words. He has shot at the biggest pro events since the '90s, and now he's here, drawing on all those experiences to figure out what makes a bike or component tick.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 178cm / 5'10"
  • Weight: 75kg / 165lb
  • Discipline: Road, cyclocross, time trials
  • Beer of Choice: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

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